The Supernatural

I’ve always wanted to believe in the supernatural.  As a kid, I loved ghost stories and other supernatural horror stuff (well, I guess I still do, with, you know, writing a zombie novel and all), and I always hoped to discover a ghost or see something like that.  I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, but stopped going at 7, but even then I’m not sure how much BELIEF there was in me.  I went to Kingdom Hall, but I’m not sure I ever really bought into the actual existence of a god.  Maybe it’s just my futuristic atheist self projecting back on the past, but I really don’t remember thinking of it any different than any other stories.

Anyway, ghosts and vampires and whatnot were cooler in any case, and wanted them to be real.  I remember reading a Choose Your Own Adventure novel, one that had these Indian spirits killing people in a Western town – totally awesome stuff.  I was twelve or so, and I started to pretend I was an Indian Shaman and could feel spirits.  I told my mother about the spirits, that I thought I really felt one.  Now, my mother was kind and imaginative, but instead of indulging me she just said, “Don’t say that, or else you’ll start believing it.”

Those words had a surprising effect on me.  I stopped playing Indian Shaman, and realized that I didn’t really believe it.  In any of it, ghosts or Christ or any of that stuff.  I felt a little sad, like a bit of wonder had left the world, but the logic of it all was inescapable.  If there is no actual evidence of anything, it must not really be there.  I think that was the first day I recognized my atheism, even if I didn’t know the word for it.

I still love ghost stories and all that, but they aren’t true.  I see people I know that believe in ghosts and attribute random happenings to them, and I just wonder at their sanity.  Last night, Lady Aravan and I were on the couch, and the living room fan’s light turned itself on, then off, then flickered a few times.  A lot of people would have been convinced right then and there that it was a ghost.  I mean, it makes sense; such an occurence is much more likely than, say, a stray signal similar enough to the remote that controls the light, or some sort of electrical thing.

All of the Ghost Hunters and paranormal investigator shows kill me.  There was a psychic yesterday on the radio show I listen to in the morning, and only one person said that they didn’t believe in them.  It made me sadder than the twelve-year-old who realizes that he doesn’t actually believe in fairy tales.

About Alan Edwards

Cancer caregiver, writer, accountant, gamer, poolboy, and dispenser of terrible advice that should never under any circumstances be followed.

Posted on February 18, 2010, in Self Reflection and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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